Are We Winning The War On Terror?

The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge structures collapsing have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness and a quiet, unyielding anger.

The night when President Bush addressed the nation, we learned we were at war — the war on terrorism. So easy to name, so hard to win, a truth time has taught us to understand, comments CBS Sunday Morning contributor Martha Teichner.

The president has had successes to report: his super high-tech new counter-terrorism center where our intelligence agencies actually talk to one another, the capture of Saddam Hussein and a bunch of major al Qaeda figures. Terror plots have been foiled, including the big one announced in Britain last month involving U.S.-bound airliners, and of course, no new attacks on U.S. soil since 9/11.

But are we winning? Has the Bush administration picked its battles wisely. The nation's top foreign policy experts, 120 of them, Republicans and Democrats, have their doubts.

"America's foreign policy community has never been in so much agreement about the performance of an administration overseas — 84 percent of the respondents think that we're losing the war on terror," Mike Boyer, editor of the Terrorism Index, says.

The Terrorism Index was just published by Foreign Policy magazine and shows conservatives and liberals on the same page — serious movers and shakers across the political spectrum.

"These are former secretaries of state, former national security advisors, former CIA directors. These are really the people that have run the national security apparatus over the last 50 years," Boyer says.

The numbers show that with the exception of Afghanistan, the experts think the Bush administration's actions have actually had a negative impact on the war against terror. Eighty-seven percent say the Iraq war has hurt us, 81 percent say Guantanamo Bay prison has.
  • Sean Alfano

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